Number of Times Seen – Twice (28 Mar 2001 and 14 Nov 2018)
Brief Synopsis – After being hired to try and find out of a “snuff” film is real or fake, private investigator enters a darker world than he could have imagined.
My Take on it – This is a film that actually tries to explore the myth of “snuff” films to try and see whether it can either prove or debunk the fact that things like this can possibly occur in the underworld.
They do a nice job overall with it, but there are too many problems along the way with this film that hurt the way it is perceived.
Nicholas Cage is completely miscast in the lead role and doesn’t manage to make the character feel realistic at all because something constantly feels out of place with this performance.
The support cast is quite good with Joaquin Phoenix, Peter Stormare, Chris Bauer and Anthony Heald all doing nice jobs with their characters.
The story itself drags along a it too much and it would have been more entertaining if this would have been shortened a bit.
I think that this is the kind of story that can be explored and developed much better in novel form than on screen because certain aspects of it require investigation that might take much longer to actually take care of than the way it is shown here.
Bottom Line – Interesting premise that drags along a bit too much. Cage is miscast in this film and doesn’t feel right for this kind of role at all. The supporting cast is great with Phoenix, Gandolfini, Stormare, Bauer and Heald all doing nice jobs with their roles. This film explores some great myths about parts of the underworld with the idea of trying to either prove or debunk them and they do it quite well even if things are far from perfect. This kind of story would probably be better developed as a novel because it would make things move much more smoothly than they are able to do on screen.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Nicolas Cage’s Oscar award (for Leaving Las Vegas (1995)) makes a cameo in the film. Look for it, wrapped up in black string/laces on Eddie Poole’s desk when Cage breaks in to tap Poole’s phone. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)
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